War Memorial Opera House
301 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
No list of top San Francisco dance companies would be complete without the city’s own and the nation’s oldest professional ballet company. The company at San Francisco Ballet, around since 1933, has performed all the usual works, such as “Swan Lake” and the “Nutcracker,” as well as more contemporary works, like the American comic ballet “Coppélia.” The current director, Helgi Tomasson, has lead the group since 1985. The company also has its own orchestra, a rarity, the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra (previously the San Francisco Performing Arts Orchestra). The company’s presentation of the “Nutcracker” runs from Dec. 9-27, with tickets on sale months in advance. There are also a bevy of performances scheduled for the 2011 season.
44 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
The Smuin Ballet is pretty much a new kid on the block, having debuted in 1994. Since then, the company has performed more than 40 works by Michael Smuin. The Smuin Ballet’s holiday program, “The Christmas Ballet,” runs from Nov. 26 – Dec. 24; the winter program runs from Oct. 1 – Feb. 27 and will feature three shows, beginning with choreographer Trey McIntyre’s “World Premiere.” Attendees have raved about the group’s talented dancers and creative and exciting programs.
San Francisco, CA 94103
The Alonzo King LINES Ballet of San Francisco has been focused on contemporary dance since its 1982 debut. The company’s name sake, Alonzo King, has received numerous accolades for his artistic vision and talent while serving as the group’s choreographer and artistic director. The fall season for LINES runs from Oct. 14-24 and features “Scheherazade,” which will have its San Francisco premiere this season. “Scheherazade” is described as “re-envisioning of the ancient collection of Persian, Sanskrit, and Arabic stories of 1,001 Nights.”
1428 Alice Street
Oakland, CA 94612
The AXIS Dance Company’s tag line is “redefining dance and making it accessible to all” and the group certainly amazes with its mix of performers with and without disabilities. Founded in 1987 by artistic director Thais Mazur, AXIS has shown over the decades that anyone really is capable of doing just about anything. The group’s home shows for the 2010 season from Nov. 5-7 and Nov. 12-14 with the main performance scheduled to be “ODD” with live accompaniment by cellist Joan Jeanrenaud.
3153 17th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Robert Moses’ Kin Dance Company, founded in 1995 by choreographer and artistic director Robert Moses, aims to use dance to explore race, class, culture and gender “to voice the existence of our greater potential and unfulfilled possibilities.” The company’s dancers are known for their blend of jazz, hip hop and ballet movements. Scheduled performances are on Sept. 26 and Oct. 16.